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Navigating the Gig Economy

The rise of the gig economy over the last several years has opened up a lot of doors, both for employees who are tired of being tied down to underpaying and unfulfilling 9-5 jobs, as well as the employers who enjoy access to a wide range of talented professionals they can outsource work to.


When done well, the arrangement benefits both parties.

When it’s not - well, that’s a whole other kettle of fish. 


Small business owners often face the challenge of needing to get things done but not having the resources or personnel to do so. This is where the gig economy comes in. By tapping into the vast network of freelancers and independent contractors, small business owners can leverage the skills and expertise of professionals from various fields without hiring full-time employees. From graphic designers to web developers to social media experts, you can outsource nearly everything.

But not all freelancers are created equal. And not all of them are going to be a good catch. This is perhaps the biggest challenge when working within the gig economy. 

People will disappear. You’ll find the perfect freelancer for your project. They’re responsive, talented, and affordable, and you think you’ve hit the jackpot. Then one day, they just disappear, and Emails go unanswered. Messages go unreturned. You wonder if maybe THEY won the jackpot and no longer need the work.

Sometimes you’ll hire someone for a specific job, and suddenly the scope of the project has magically expanded, and now they’re demanding more money, or they’re walking. 

You’ll hire someone who you think can represent your brand well and then discover they use plagiarized content. 

You’ll hire someone who is ready to start ASAP and take on a time-sensitive project, and then they’ll back out and say, “Sorry, something came up.”


We don’t say all this to scare you out of outsourcing. We’re big fans of it. However, it’s essential to understand the challenges you may be up against so that you can protect yourself, your business, and your bottom line as much as possible. Here are a few tips to consider:

  1. Clearly understand your needs and which projects and tasks you need help with.
  2. Choose the platform(s) that best fit your needs and budgets. Some platforms charge you a percentage of the freelancer's fee, while others charge a flat fee.
  3. Take the time to read reviews and ratings. Ask for samples of their work. 
  4. When you hire a freelancer, set clear expectations about what you need and when you need it. Make clarity and transparency your BFFs. 
  5. If and when you find a freelancer who consistently delivers high-quality work and meets your expectations, consider building a long-term relationship with them. This will save you time and money in the long run. 


Working within the gig economy is an excellent way for small business owners to grow and scale their companies without needing full-time employees. Just remember that it will require patience and trial and error to reel in the perfect fit for the job.


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